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The California High-Speed Rail Authority has reached a settlement with the city of Bakersfield that will result in the dismissal of the city's lawsuit regarding the authority's environmental impact report.The city filed suit in June over the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the Fresno to Bakersfield section of the high-speed rail program."This agreement represents our shared commitment to continue working together to resolve issues in a constructive manner," said Jeff Morales, the authority's chief executive officer. "Our goal is to maximize the benefits of high-speed rail in Bakersfield and minimize impacts to the community."The Bakersfield lawsuit was one of seven lawsuits filed to challenge the authority's environmental impact report and final route selection for the section between Fresno and Bakersfield. The six other cases remain pending.The lawsuits allege that the authority violated California's Environmental Quality Act by neglecting to address all potential impacts of the building project and rail route operations on homes, communities, businesses and farms in the counties of Fresno, Kings Tulare and Kern, The Fresno Bee reported.The fates of the lawsuits were thrown into doubt earlier this month when the U.S. Surface Transportation Board declared that state courts are barred from enforcing the state environmental law for the Fresno-Bakersfield section because the STB already approved the route for construction, according to the newspaper.
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